Category Archives: Fabric Art

Art primarily using fabric as its basis.

Phulkari

Phulkari: The Embroidered Textiles of Punjab, PMATota Bagh Phulkari, 20th century. Artist/maker unknown, Punjabi. Handspun cotton plain weave (khaddar) with silk and cotton embroidery in darning, buttonhole, and chain stitches, 7 feet 8 3/4 inches × 56 inches (235.6 × 142.2 cm). The Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Phulkari Collection.

Phulkari: The Embroidered Textiles of Punjab
from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection, 
Joan Spain Gallery, Perelman Building, Philadelphia Museum of Art

Phulkari: The Embroidered Textiles of Punjab from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection

Through July 9, 2017

Phulkari, meaning “flower work” (phul = flower, kari = work), is an embroidery originally made throughout Punjab, a region now straddling Pakistan and India. Traditionally, the base cloth was locally handspun and handwoven cotton called khaddar. The thread, called pat, was unplied silk usually imported from China. The dominant embroidery stitch is the darning stitch (a straight stitch in parallel rows), although artists interspersed it with other stitches. Perhaps because of thread’s high cost, most pieces show embroidery only on one side of the cloth.

Phulkari: The Embroidered Textiles of PunjabSainchi Phulkari/Nilak Phulkari, 20th century. Artist/maker unknown, Punjabi. Handspun cotton plain weave (khaddar) with silk and cotton embroidery in darning, running, chain, and buttonhole stitches, glass mirrors, 7 feet 5 inches × 53 inches (226.1 × 134.6 cm). The Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Phulkari Collection. (click for large image)

Phulkaris were a crucial part of a Punjabi woman’s material wealth. Young girls learned needlework from their older female relatives and friends. Often they made phulkaris for their own dowries, which they brought with them to their husbands’ home when they married. Primarily intended as large shawls worn draped over the head, phulkaris could also function as bedding or wall hangings for special functions. While each phulkari is unique, they may be grouped into types by designs and background colors with names such as thirma (white), sainchi (figurative), or bagh (garden).

Phulkari: The Embroidered Textiles of PunjabDarshan Dwar Phulkari, 20th century. Artist/maker unknown, Punjabi. Handspun, handwoven cotton plain weave (khaddar) with silk and cotton embroidery in darning, pattern darning, buttonhole, herringbone, running and Cretan stitches, 7 feet 5 inches × 50 inches (226.1 × 127 cm). The Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Phulkari Collection. (click for large image)

Highlighted here are nineteen superb phulkaris from the Bonovitz Collection, promised gifts to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. All were probably created before the Partition of Pakistan and India in 1947.  Also included is a small selection of traditional phulkaris from the Museum’s permanent collection. The exhibition concludes with a creative twenty-first century reinvention of phulkari in the high fashion garments of Manish Malhotra, one of India’s leading designers.

Phulkari: The Embroidered Textiles of PunjabSainchi Phulkari, 20th century. Artist/maker unknown, Punjabi. Handspun cotton plain weave (khaddar) with silk, cotton, and wool embroidery in darning, pattern darning, buttonhole, herringbone, running, chain and Cretan stitches, 7 feet 5 1/2 inches × 48 1/2 inches (227.3 × 123.2 cm). The Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Phulkari Collection. (click for large image)

This exhibition is made possible by Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz, The Coby Foundation, Ltd., and The Stella Kramrisch Indian and Himalayan Art Fund.

Phulkari: The Embroidered Textiles of PunjabBagh Phulkari, 20th century. Artist/maker unknown, Punjabi. Handspun cotton plain weave (khaddar) with silk embroidery in darning, pattern darning, running, chain and cross stitches, 8 feet 3 3/4 inches × 59 1/2 inches (253.4 × 151.1 cm). The Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Phulkari Collection.

Phulkari: The Embroidered Textiles of PunjabPhulkari, 20th century. Artist/maker unknown, Punjabi. Handspun cotton plain weave (khaddar) with silk embroidery in running, darning, pattern darning, herringbone, split, stem and cross stitches, 9 feet 5 inches × 58 inches (287 × 147.3 cm). The Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Phulkari Collection. (click for large image)

Phulkari: The Embroidered Textiles of PunjabPhulkari, Early 20th century. Artist/maker unknown, Punjabi. Handspun cotton plain weave (khaddar) with silk and cotton embroidery in darning, running, herringbone, and double running stitches, 8 feet 6 1/2 inches × 47 1/2 inches (260.4 × 120.7 cm). The Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Phulkari Collection. (click for large image)

Phulkari: The Embroidered Textiles of PunjabThirma Phulkari, 19th century. Artist/maker unknown, Punjabi. Handspun, handwoven cotton plain weave (khaddar) with silk embroidery in darning, whip, and running stitches, 8 feet 5 inches × 58 inches (256.5 × 147.3 cm). The Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Phulkari Collection.

Phulkari: The Embroidered Textiles of PunjabChope Phulkari, 20th century. Artist/maker unknown, Punjabi. Handspun cotton plain weave (khaddar) with silk embroidery in double running stitch, 9 feet 8 inches × 69 inches (294.6 × 175.3 cm). The Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Phulkari Collection. (click for large image)

Phulkari: The Embroidered Textiles of PunjabSainchi Phulkari, Early 20th century. Artist/maker unknown, Punjabi. Handspun, handwoven plain weave (khaddar) with silk and cotton embroidery in darning and chain stitches, 8 feet 3 inches × 52 inches (251.5 × 132.1 cm). The Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Phulkari Collection. (click for large image)

——————–

1947 to Today

When India gained independence from Great Britain in 1947, Punjab was divided—its western part in Pakistan and its eastern in India. The devastating results of Partition left many millions dead, injured, and displaced. Most families lost their heirloom phulkaris and few women had the time or facilities to embroider, apart from occasional commercial work. Over the past sixty years, Punjabis of all religions—Muslims, Hindus, Christians, and Sikhs (a faith whose holy sites are located in Punjab)—have emigrated throughout South Asia and around the world. Today they are the largest South Asian diaspora. Phulkari embroidery has retained enormous emotional and symbolic significance for all Punjabis and it has been reenvisioned in many ways.

Thank you to The Philadelphia Museum of Art for the content of this post.

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Open

Philadelphia Open Studio Tours 2016THIS OCTOBER: Explore. Discover. Enjoy.

Philadelphia’s Vibrant Visual Arts Community

Discover Philadelphia’s visual arts community this October with the Philadelphia Open Studio Tours, a free citywide arts festival Oct 8 – 9 and Oct 22 – 23 #POSTPHL

 Explore open studios and art experiences in every Philly neighborhood this October with the Phl Open Studio Tours #POSTPHL www.philaopenstudios.org

Starting October 8, 2016 The Center for Emerging Visual Artists (CFEVA) is pleased to present the 17th Annual Philadelphia Open Studio Tours. As Philadelphia’s premier fall visual arts festival, the Philadelphia Open Studio Tours (POST) presents a behind-the-scenes glimpse of visual artists at work through self-guided tours of artist studios and creative workspaces, hands-on workshops, gallery exhibitions, demonstrations, artist talks, special receptions, and more. Great for all ages, POST is the most comprehensive tour of artist studios in the region. For complete program information, including a list of more than 200 participating artists and community partners, neighborhood maps, artwork and studio images, and a detailed schedule of events, visit philaopenstudios.org.

Featured Exhibition Series

CFEVA and POST are pleased to feature several noteworthy exhibitions and events in all corners of the city, springing from ongoing collaborations with commercial galleries, local businesses, fellow arts organizations, educational institutions, and non-traditional studio spaces. Of the many corollary programs taking place throughout October, POST is proud to announce its 2016 Featured Exhibitions:

Philadelphia Open Studio Tours 2016, Nick Cassway Above the Sounds of Ideologies ClashingNick Cassway

Above the Sounds of Ideologies Clashing

An exhibition of work by Nick Cassway, the Antonia W. Hamilton Fellow

October 8th – November 10th, 2016

Gallery Hours: Monday – Friday, 10am – 5pm

Opening Reception: October 13, 5 – 7pm

Open during POST West and POST East, noon – 6pm

The Center for Emerging Visual Artists, 237 S. 18th Street, Suite 3A, Philadelphia, PA 19103

Nick Cassway merges a fine arts practice with commercial design, iconography, and illustration to create vibrant works with bold and impactful imagery. Coinciding with POST, “Above the Sounds of Ideologies Clashing” will transform CFEVA’s gallery into an immersive room-sized installation. Inspired by the story of Johannes Kelpius, the Hermit of the Wissahickon, Cassway’s custom designed wall coverings explore systems of belief through an evolving scene of an encounter between a believer and a skeptic.

Philadelphia Open Studio Tours 2016, Kelly KozmaDance Magic Dance, Jump Magic Jump by Kelly Kozma

CFEVA@Sonesta

An Exhibition Highlighting Five Philadelphia Artists

January 15th – December 15th, 2016

Open during POST West and POST East, On view 24 hours

Sonesta Hotel Philadelphia, 1800 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103

Grab some food and drinks at the Sonesta Hotel’s Art Bar and see CFEVA@Sonesta: Highlighting Five Philadelphia Artists. This exhibition features work by: Kelly Kozma, Brienne RosnerKristin Schattenfield-Rein, Amy Stevens, Michael Yoder.

Philadelphia Open Studio Tours 2016, Kristen Schattenfield-ReinKristin Schattenfield-Rein

 ArtBox at Shirt Corner

An exhibition of work by Kristin Schattenfield-Rein

August 1st – October 14th, 2016, Open during POST West

ArtBox @ Shirt Corner, 259 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

Kristin Schattenfield-Rein’s paintings utilize various mediums (epoxy resin, glass, sand, graphite flake and silvered tar) to produce a layered, reticulative effect. Rein’s current work adheres, just barely, to the convention of wall hangings—they creep past their edges to become sculptural and suggestive of something beyond the obvious. Kristin’s work is on view in the Art Box street level window gallery located in Old City on the north side of Market Street just east of 3rd Street.

Philadelphia Open Studio Tours 2016, Rob MillerAerospatial 14Rob Miller

POST—Philadelphia Artists in the Community

An Art Gallery at City Hall exhibition

October 10th – November 10th 2016, Monday – Friday, 10am–4pm

Art Gallery at City Hall, City of Philadelphia’s Office of Arts,

Culture and the Creative Economy, City Hall, Room 116, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Celebrating the diversity of Philadelphia neighborhoods and the artisans that thrive within, “POST—Philadelphia Artists in the Community” will showcase works by selected POST participants in City Hall during the month of October. The exhibition will be organized by neighborhood, demonstrating the uniqueness and strength of our city’s artistic community.

Philadelphia Open Studio Tours 2016, Ben VoltaPattern Process, Ben Volta

Ben Volta: Pattern Process

A Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts exhibition

September 21st – November 20, 2016, Open during POST West and POST East

Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 10am–5pm, Wednesday 10am—9pm, Saturday—Sunday, 11am –5pm

The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Alumni Gallery, Historic Landmark Building

118-128 N. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102

www.pafa.org

Ben Volta (Certificate ‘02) creates intricate public murals and sculptures, working at the intersection of education, restorative justice, and urban planning. His practice stands on the belief that art can be a catalyst for change, within individuals as well as the institutional structures that surround them.

His exhibition in the Alumni Gallery at PAFA will draw from multiple projects created with students and recently incarcerated youth throughout the city. These projects use a collaborative drawing process to generate complex wholes that are more than the sum of their parts.

Thank you to Julia Fox of the Philadelphia Open Studio Tours (POST), a program of The Center for Emerging Visual Artists for the content of this post.

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Vlisco

Vlisco: African Fashion on a Global StagePrinted Textile, 2005. Made by Vlisco, Helmond, Netherlands, founded 1846. Cotton plain weave, wax‑resist print, 12 feet × 47 1/2 inches (365.8 × 120.7 cm). Private Collection, ©Vlisco

Creative Africa, Vlisco: African Fashion on a Global Stage, Philadelphia Museum of Art

Through January 22, 2017

Ruth and Raymond G. Perelman Building

The Philadelphia Museum of Art celebrates West and Central African fashion and culture in an exhibition exploring the classic and contemporary looks of Vlisco, the oldest international textile brand that specializes in Dutch wax fabrics. From the earliest designs and most recognizable patterns, continuing through a selection of iconic styles that have been re-interpreted in a contemporary way, the exhibition will highlight a selection of the thousands of patterns Vlisco has produced for the African and diaspora markets.

Vlisco: African Fashion on a Global StagePrinted Textile, 2005. Made by Vlisco, Helmond, Netherlands, founded 1846. Cotton plain weave, wax‑resist print, 12 feet × 47 1/2 inches (365.8 × 120.7 cm). Private Collection, ©Vlisco

Dilys Blum, The Museum’s Jack M. and Annette Y. Friedland Senior Curator of Costume and Textiles and organizer of this exhibition, said: “The wax-printed fabrics long associated with Central and West Africa have a surprising history that is truly global.  Many of the patterns shown in this display tell stories and convey images that reflect Africa’s past and reimagine its future. For this special presentation in Philadelphia, we are celebrating the transnational character of Vlisco by showing the company’s classic designs, these classics re-imagined, and new contemporary patterns, sharing how fashion designers in West Africa and other parts of the world use Vlisco wax fabrics today.”

When cloth leaves the factory it is generally identified only by a stock number. The women who trade in the open-air markets in African cities, and their customers, assign the patterns names inspired by current events, politics, religion, and material culture. The exhibition explores the ways in which such patterns acquire social meaning, status, and value and become culturally assimilated into African society, and examine how designs can have many interpretations depending on where they are used.

Vlisco: African Fashion on a Global StagePrinted Textile, Late 20th century. Made by Vlisco, Helmond, Netherlands, founded 1846. Cotton plain weave, wax‑resist print, 36 × 47 1/2 inches (91.4 × 120.7 cm). Private Collection, © Vlisco

Among the classic patterns represented are the “Happy Family” egg motif, featuring an image of a hen surrounded by her chicks and chicks-to-be referencing the importance of family, and the “Fallen Tree” pattern that acts as a visual substitute for a proverb that teaches unity and strength in Ghana. The “Alphabet” design symbolizes the value that Africans place on education, and “Swallows”, a symbol of good luck, refers to the transience of riches. The classic “Swallows” pattern was worn by flight attendants for Air Afrique in the 1970s. The display will show how this particular pattern has been reinterpreted to include airplane imagery, a symbol of globalization.

Vlisco: African Fashion on a Global Stage“La Famille” Printed Textile, 1952. Made by Vlisco, Helmond, Netherlands, founded 1846. Cotton plain weave, wax‑resist print, 18 feet × 47 1/4 inches (548.6 × 120 cm). Private Collection, © Vlisco

Vlisco: African Fashion on a Global Stage“Angelina” Printed Textile, 1962. Made by Vlisco, Helmond, Netherlands, founded 1846. Cotton plain weave, wax‑resist print, 70 × 48 1/4 inches (177.8 × 122.6 cm). Private Collection, © Vlisco

The “Eye” pattern, one of the most enduring European designs for the African market, appears in the exhibition in multiple variations and colors.  The original design of 1904 by the Haarlem Cotton Company was inspired by the Egyptian god Horus, a symbol of protection, royal power, and good health.  Some of the eye patterns were intended to silently communicate and identify with a woman’s family and marital relationships.  In Nigeria, the original Haarlem pattern is known as “Eyes”. In Côte d’Ivoire, it is called “Bull’s Eye” and is worn by a woman to show a man that she desires him.  Also in Côte d’Ivoire, the classic “Jumping Horse” pattern expresses rivalry between co-wives.  In Nigeria, Igbo women favor this design for family to express unity at their annual women’s meeting.

Vlisco: African Fashion on a Global StageDazzling Graphics Collection, 2011, Made by Vlisco, Helmond, Netherlands, Photograph courtesy of Vlisco

The exhibition will touch upon the rise of the most successful market women in Togo, called the Nana Benz, who traded in wax prints beginning in the 1930s. The Nana Benz were essential to the success or failure of the designs.  Wholesalers to other market traders, the women provided Vlisco agents with information on customer preferences. In return, the women were often given exclusive access to certain designs.  A playful design featuring the Mercedes-Benz three-pointed star logo pays homage to these traders, as this was their car of choice and became a symbol of their success.  In another design, the Vlisco logo on the radiator grill replaces the car’s original trademark. 

Displayed on mannequins in the center of the gallery is an installation of contemporary designs using the wax fabrics as created by African, diaspora and other international designers. 

One of Nigeria’s foremost fashion designers, Lanre da Silva Ajayi, who is known for her ultra-feminine looks and elegant use of prints, has collaborated with Vlisco on numerous projects including a gala dress on view in the exhibition.  The designer’s ensemble is made in a limited-edition shimmering gold print embellished with the designer’s signature beads and sequins.

Owner and creative director Araba Stephens Akompi of the Ghanaian fashion house Stylista has reconfigured patterns showing a Spanish fan to create a flamenco-style dress with a distinctively African twist. Stylista sees this gala dress as an evolution of the traditional Ghanaian blouse with a matching skirt.

The exhibition features ensembles by Vlisco’s senior fashion designer from 2008 to 2016, Inge van Lierop, who was responsible for translating each seasonal concept into stylish ensembles used for marketing. A strapless, two-piece wedding dress made from two color ways of the same design is embellished with beads, as is the veil, which was embroidered in India. Deconstructed and made into a late 1960s-style mini dress that pays homage to the decade when the design first achieved popularity, the classic “Angelina” pattern associated with the dashiki a loose tunic worn by men and women is updated and re-colored in luminous pastels for a more contemporary look.

The fashions of Manish Arora, one of today’s most inspiring designers, fuse his Indian roots, global style, and contemporary popular culture.  This year, Arora has collaborated with Vlisco for his ready-to-wear collection shown recently in Paris and inspired by the American West.  For his ensemble on display, he has re-interpreted wax prints into knit fabrics. 

Ikiré Jones of Philadelphia, led by Nigerian-American menswear designer, Walé Oyéjidé, shows how the designs can be creatively cut and mixed together for unique looks.  His  hand-tailored trousers, and a jacket made of Vlisco fabric, are accessorized with a storytelling scarf.

Vlisco: African Fashion on a Global Stage

Vlisco: African Fashion on a Global Stage is one of five exhibitions in the Perelman Building this season, accompanied by related programs that feature a broad spectrum of the arts from across the African continent. They feature historical works of art as well as contemporary fashion, photography, design, and architecture. Each calls attention to the continuities and differences between African art forms over the centuries.

The related exhibitions are:

Look Again: Contemporary Perspectives on African Art, a major exhibition drawn from the collection of the Penn Museum (May 14 through December 4, 2016).

Threads of Tradition, focusing on the traditional patterns in West and Central African textiles and the techniques used to create them, including strip weaving, resist dyeing, piecing, appliqué, and embroidery (Through January 2017).

The Architecture of Francis Kéré: Building for Community, featuring a site-specific, immersive environment designed by this world-renowned Burkina-Faso-born architect (May 14–September 25, 2016).

Three Photographers/Six Cities presents an in-depth look at three photographers who create powerful pictures of African cities: Cairo, Egypt; Nairobi, Kenya; Lagos, Nigeria; Johannesburg, South Africa; Bamako, and Tombouctou (Timbuktu), Mali. From Akinbode Akinbiyi’s observation of urban centers and Seydou Camara’s examination of Islamic manuscripts to Ananias Léki Dago’s pictures of offbeat locales, the images offer unique perspectives on contemporary African experience (Through September 25, 2016).

Curator: Dilys Blum, The Jack M. and Annette Y. Friedland Senior Curator of Costume and Textiles

Location: Joan Spain Gallery

About Vlisco

Vlisco, founded in 1846, began exporting factory printed cloth to West Africa around 1876. Over the years Vlisco absorbed several Dutch textile manufacturers that also produced wax prints for the market prior to World War I. Today it is the last surviving European wax-resist textile manufacturer. The Vlisco brand is manufactured in Helmond, Netherlands and is the premier brand of the Vlisco group which includes three other brands, GTP and Woodin made in Ghana and Uniwax produced in Cote d’Ivoire. Each brand caters to a distinct segment of the market.

Social Media: #CreativeAfrica 

Follow us and join the conversation: Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/Tumblr/YouTube @philamuseum

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is Philadelphia’s art museum. We are a landmark building. A world-renowned collection. A place that welcomes everyone. We bring the arts to life, inspiring visitors—through scholarly study and creative play—to discover the spirit of imagination that lies in everyone. We connect people with the arts in rich and varied ways, making the experience of the Museum surprising, lively, and always memorable. We are committed to inviting visitors to see the world—and themselves—anew through the beauty and expressive power of the arts.

Thank you to The Philadelphia Museum of Art for the content of this post.

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Zo

zo8Art of the ZoPhiladelphia Museum of ArtTiddim Woman’s Wedding Mantle (Tawnok), 1900–30, Myanmar (Burma), Chin State, Tiddim Township (Gift of David W. and Barbara G. Fraser, 2014-70-28)

Art of the Zo: Textiles from Myanmar, India, and Bangladesh, Philadelphia Museum of Art

The Philadelphia Museum of Art presents an exhibition of woven textiles made by the Zo peoples of South Asia, including works that range from ceremonial tunics and wrap skirts to mantles, capes, blankets, and loincloths. Art of the Zo: Textiles from Myanmar, India, and Bangladesh features traditional weavings worn for daily life and ceremonial occasions, such as weddings, funerals, and feasts. The exhibition comprises works from the Museum’s collection of costume and textiles, supplemented by gifts and loans from David W. and Barbara G. Fraser, coauthors of Mantles of Merit: Chin Textiles from Myanmar, India, and Bangladesh (2005).

Art of the Zo, Haka High-Ranking Man’s Mantle (Can-lo Puan) Art of the ZoPhiladelphia Museum of Art, Haka High-Ranking Man’s Mantle (Can-lo Puan), 1900–40, Myanmar (Burma), Chin State (Purchased with funds from the proceeds of the sale of deaccessioned works of art, 2006-57-1)

The exhibition showcases the patterns, techniques, and local variations that contribute to the beauty and craftsmanship of these woven treasures. Zo weavers create textiles that vary from unpatterned, indigo-dyed cloth and simple, colorful stripes to complex weaves that could be mistaken for embroidery. Among the highlights is a cotton blanket produced in a warp-faced weave around 1900 that would have been used in ceremonies for the sacrifice of a mithan, a semi-domesticated, ox-like animal. Also included is a Dai woman’s gray and white wedding blanket, woven between 1920 and 1960, which would have been created for a bride by her mother, along with shoulder cloths, decorated with glass beads and metal bells, which could double as baby carriers. A variety of men’s loincloths are on display as well, woven of cotton and silk.

Art of the Zo, Lauktu Woman’s Head Wrapper (Tonpauk La), Art of the ZoPhiladelphia Museum of Art, Lauktu Woman’s Head Wrapper (Tonpauk La), 1910–20, Myanmar (Burma), Rakhine State (Purchased with the Stella Kramrisch Fund, 2006-1-23)

In addition to textiles, various adornments are featured in the exhibition, among them earrings, bracelets, and necklaces made of metals, glass, and mirrors. The exhibition includes an example of the back-tension looms made of bamboo rods and wooden sticks that are traditionally employed by the Zo peoples to produce their fabrics. The simple loom is shown with a partially woven cloth next to a finished example from the Museum’s collection to offer insight into the weaving techniques. A video presentation, photographic details of selected works, and graphics of specific weave structures further demonstrate the virtuosity of Zo skills.

Art of the Zo, Laytu Man’s Tunic (Khrangimm)Art of the ZoPhiladelphia Museum of Art, Laytu Man’s Tunic (Khrangimm), 1920–40, Myanmar (Burma), Chin or Rakhine State (Purchased with the Stella Kramrisch Fund, 2006-1-18)

The Zo peoples, of Tibetan-Burmese origins, have lived for hundreds of years in mountainous regions of South Asia. They comprise about fifty linguistic groups, culturally related through affinities of language, the values surrounding their textiles, and the structure and technique of their weavings. Prior to the arrival of missionaries in the mid-1800s, they worshiped ancestral spirits and spirits dwelling in nature. Today most are Christian. Encouraged by missionaries to give up their traditional textiles, today Zo weavers continue to produce these culturally important textiles and frequently sell them as collectibles.

Art of the Zo, Khami Woman’s Breast Cloth (Akhen)Art of the ZoPhiladelphia Museum of Art, Khami Woman’s Breast Cloth (Akhen), 1920–50, Myanmar (Burma), Rakhine State (Purchased with the Stella Kramrisch Fund, 2006-1-6)

In Zo communities, textiles have long conferred status on the weaver and document the wearer’s merit in this life and in the afterlife. The textiles are woven exclusively by women and are prized as the highest form of art. The exhibition explores how these works are made and worn, and features early to mid twentieth-century examples from specific localities and cultural divisions, such as the Northern Chin; Southern Chin; Ashö; and Khumi, Khami, and Mro. Although today most Zo people increasingly adopt Burmese and western attire, the weaving traditions are being preserved through the efforts of textile experts like Pa Mang, Nu Shwe, and Mai Ni Ni Aung, who have engaged master weavers to produce contemporary pieces for sale and to train the next generation of weavers. Some of these are available in the Museum Store.

Art of the Zo, Utbu Woman’s Mantle (Pachang Sungkyar)Art of the ZoPhiladelphia Museum of Art, Utbu Woman’s Mantle (Pachang Sungkyar), 1930–80, Myanmar (Burma), Magwe Division, Sedouttaya Township (Gift of David W. and Barbara G. Fraser, 2014-70-23)

David Fraser stated: “These extraordinary textiles offer us rare and exceptional beauty. As records of the artistic traditions that illuminate Zo values, they also are highly valuable in preserving a living culture. Among the Zo, men create the looms, and they also make utilitarian baskets. The women create the art and they are much respected for it.”

Art of the Zo, Haka Woman’s Ceremonial Tunic (Kor)Art of the ZoPhiladelphia Museum of Art, Haka Woman’s Ceremonial Tunic (Kor), 1940–70, Myanmar (Burma), Chin State (Purchased with funds from the proceeds of the sale of deaccessioned works of art, 2006-57-5)

Support

Support for this exhibition is provided by The Coby Foundation, Ltd.

Curators

Dilys E. Blum, The Jack M. and Annette Y. Friedland Senior Curator of Costume and Textiles, with consulting curators David and Barbara Fraser

Location

Joan Spain Gallery, Perelman Building, ground floor, The Philadelphia Museum of Art

About David and Barbara Fraser

David W. and Barbara G. Fraser have been studying the artistry, structure, and cultural importance of Zo textiles for fifteen years. Their book, Mantles of Merit: Chin Textiles from Myanmar, India, and Bangladesh, won the Millia Davenport Publication Award of the Costume Society of America and the R.L. Shep Book Award of the Textile Society of America. Their work also garnered the Ancient & Modern Prize. They have curated exhibitions of Zo textiles at the Textile Museum in Washington, D.C., the University of Pennsylvania’s Arthur Ross Gallery, and Denison University, and David Fraser has co-curated an exhibition at Haverford College. Barbara Fraser is a member of the Advisory Council of the Textile Museum. A retired financial services attorney, she is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and Emory University Law School. David Fraser is a member of the Costume and Textiles Advisory Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. He is a research associate at the Textile Museum, a consulting scholar at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, and a master artisan of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen. A former president of Swarthmore College, he is a graduate of Haverford College and Harvard Medical School.

Art of the Zo, Mizo Woman’s Ceremonial Wrapped Skirt (Puan Laisen)Art of the ZoPhiladelphia Museum of Art, Mizo Woman’s Ceremonial Wrapped Skirt (Puan Laisen), 1950–70, Myanmar (Burma), Northern Chin State or India, Mizoram (Gift of David W. and Barbara G. Fraser, 2014-70-25)

Exhibition hours

Tuesday–Sunday: 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Social Media

Facebook and Twitter: philamuseum ; Tumblr: philamuseum ; YouTube: PhilaArtMuseum ; Instagram: @philamuseum


The Philadelphia Museum of Art
is Philadelphia’s art museum. We are a landmark building. A world-renowned collection. A place that welcomes everyone. We bring the arts to life, inspiring visitors—through scholarly study and creative play—to discover the spirit of imagination that lies in everyone. We connect people with the arts in rich and varied ways, making the experience of the Museum surprising, lively, and always memorable. We are committed to inviting visitors to see the world—and themselves—anew through the beauty and expressive power of the arts.

Thank you to The Philadelphia Museum of Art for the content of this post.

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Enchanted

amie3Amie PotsicEnchanted Forest #3, Archival Pigment Print, 24” x 48”, 2015, ©Amie Potsic 2015

Artist presents new photographic installation

calling for environmental appreciation and protection.

Enchanted Forest

A solo exhibition by Amie Potsic

James Oliver Gallery, located at 723 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA presents Enchanted Forest, a solo exhibition featuring renowned photographer and installation artist Amie Potsic.  The exhibition will include a new large-scale photographic installation and a series of complementary prints.  The exhibition begins on October 24th and runs through December 5th.  The artist reception will be on Saturday, November 7th from 6:00 – 10:00 PM with the artist giving a talk on her work in the gallery at 7:00pm.  Gallery hours are Wednesday through Friday from 5:00 – 8:00 pm and Saturday from 1:00 – 8:00 pm or by appointment.

Amie Potsic’s works reference the sensory experience of being within the forest while encouraging us to appreciate and preserve its future. Her incarnate environmental explorations entice the viewer to connect with their own perception of nature in a manner that is simultaneously intimate and enchanting.  This new series focuses attention on the beauty of the forest to create an appreciation for and protection of the environment.  James Oliver Gallery invites audiences to experience these captivating and experiential works as Potsic transforms their contemporary and modern loft-style space located in historic Philadelphia.

In addition to this solo exhibition, artist Amie Potsic is currently exhibiting her installation work at the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts through October 25th in New Eyes: Experimental Photography Today where she was awarded Best in Show for her piece Endangered Seasons. In addition to her photography and installation artwork, Potsic serves as the Executive Director of Main Line Art Center in Haverford, PA, and as Chair of the Artistic Advisory Board of the Art In City Hall program of the Office of Arts and Culture of the City of Philadelphia.  She is also the curator of the current exhibition at Main Line Art Center called Modern Utopias, which is the featured exhibition of Panorama 2015: Image-Based Art In the 21st Century, the first annual Philadelphia-area celebration of the photographic image.

Enchanted Forest at James Oliver Gallery is presented in partnership with Inliquid and in conjunction with Panorama 2015: Image-Based Art in the 21st Century, the first annual Philadelphia-area celebration of the photographic image and its expansive role in contemporary mediums like digital photography, printmaking, video, film, animation, and gaming design, presented by Main Line Art Center. The two-month event features a dynamic and interactive evening festival, physical and virtual exhibitions, lectures, educational programs led by accomplished artists, and image-based exhibitions, programs, and 60+ events presented by over 35 Creative Partners across the Philadelphia area. 

amie2Amie PotsicEndangered Seasons Installation view at the DCCA #3, 10’H x 18’ W x 16’ D (variable), 2015, ©Amie Potsic 2015

Amie Potsic is a photographer and installation artist living in the Philadelphia area whose work addresses cultural, personal, and natural phenomena through the lens of social responsibility.  With 14 solo exhibitions and over 85 group exhibitions, Potsic has exhibited her work internationally at the Art Park in Rhodes, Greece; Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá, Colombia; Medfoundart di Cagliari, Italy; the Royal College of London; the Museum of New Art in Detroit; The Woodmere Art Museum, The National Constitution Center Museum, The Painted Bride and The Gershman Y in Philadelphia; Mission 17 in San Francisco; and 626 Gallery in Los Angeles.  She was also featured in “Keystone 1”, the first Pennsylvania Photography Biennial, at Silver Eye Center for Photography in Pittsburgh.  Her work has been published in or awarded by publications including The San Francisco Chronicle, Art Matters, The Photo Review, and The Philadelphia Inquirer.  Potsic received her MFA in Photography from the San Francisco Art Institute and BA’s in Photojournalism and English Literature from Indiana University.  She has held faculty appointments at the University of California at Berkeley, Ohlone College, and the San Francisco Art Institute and has been a guest lecturer at The University of the Arts, Ursinus College, and The International Center of Photography.  Potsic is currently the Executive Director ofMain Line Art Center in Haverford, PA as well as Chair of the Artistic Advisory Board of the Art In City Hall program of the Office of Arts and Culture of the City of Philadelphia.

James Oliver Gallery is a unique, contemporary loft-style art gallery nestled in the heart of Philadelphia’s historic area, above the world-famous Morimoto Restaurant. James Oliver Gallery features local, national, and international artists in the realms of painting, sculpture, mixed media, photography, and installation works and has been recognized by such notables as National Public Radio (NPR) and the Huffington Post.

InLiquid is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to creating opportunities and exposure for visual artists while serving as a free, online public hub for arts information in the Philadelphia area. By providing the public with immediate access to view the portfolios and credentials of over 250 artists and designers via the internet; through meaningful partnerships with other cultural organizations; through community-based activities and exhibitions; and through an extensive online body of timely art information, InLiquid brings to light the richness of our region’s art activity, broadens audiences, and heightens appreciation for all forms of visual culture.

Enchanted Forest will be on view from October 24 – December 5, 2015 at James Oliver Gallery, located at 723 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA. The gallery will host an artist reception on Saturday, November 7th from 6:00 – 10:00 pm with the artist speaking on her work at 7:00 pm. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Friday from 5:00 – 8:00 pm, Saturday from 1:00 – 8:00 pm, or by appointment. Admission is free.

For more information, please contact Amie Potsic at apotsic@yahoo.com or 610-731-6312 or James Oliver Gallery atJamesOliverGallery@gmail.com.

Enchanted Forest, A solo exhibition by Amie Potsic, James Oliver Gallery Amie PotsicEnchanted Forest #2, Archival Pigment Print, 24” x 48”, 2015, ©Amie Potsic 2015

Enchanted Forest, A solo exhibition by Amie Potsic

October 24 – December 5, 2015

RECEPTION & ARTIST TALK:
Saturday, November 7th 6:00 – 10:00 PM

Talk begins at 7:00 PM

LOCATION: James Oliver Gallery723 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA

http://www.jamesolivergallery.com/

JamesOliverGallery@gmail.com

HOURS:  Wednesday – Friday 5:00 – 8:00 pm, Saturday 1:00 – 8:00 pm or by appointment. Admission is free.

Thank you to Amie Potsic for the content of this post.

Currently at James Oliver Gallery:

TIDAL presents the organic patterns of these detail oriented artists, expanding their visions through mixed media. Their unique perspectives on the natural world create an expanded underwater atmosphere. Come view these large scale works and reflect in this interactive environment.

EMILY CHATTON
a London native is a mixed media artist based in Brooklyn New York. Her works featured in TIDAL were primarily developed during her summer at Emerson Landing Artist Residency. Classically trained at PAFA, Emily goes beyond the standard confines of order by instilling an organic fluidity within each piece. Her structured approach finds a natural life by allowing the media to alter her patterns and motifs.

KELLY KOZMA
Mixed media & fiber artist Kelly Kozma, grew up in Bucks County, Pennsylvania and graduated from Moore College of Art & Design. Currently Philadelphia based, her works in TIDAL utilize hyper-detailed techniques, including beading, faux stitching as well as intricate design work that forms fluid connections when viewed from afar. Using elements of chance and probability, Kelly’s works take on larger than life imagery while complimenting the tiny ecosystems within each piece.

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